Key takeaways from this year’s #OiConf in Cardiff

Holly-Marie Payet

With everything from masterclasses, seminars, Google how-tos and keynotes, there was a lot to take on board at the Online Influence conference in Cardiff this week. Speakers from Sky News, Yahoo, Tumblr, Warner Music and JOE.co.uk covered a range of topics, from brand safety to content shock to the future of social media and tech. 

Here are 4 key takeaways from the event:

Content shock is coming, so it’s never been more important to stand out

Did you know that by 2020, the amount of content we produce will vastly outweigh the amount we can consume? Some brands are focusing on the ‘shock factor’ to make sure their content grabs the attention of its audience – an interesting tactic, but not the only one. Ian McKee (Agency UK), stressed that it’s much better to be the best at something, rather than just being the first.

100% brand safety doesn’t exist, but we can get pretty close

Google has hit headlines recently after content was inappropriately paired with ads, leading to many brands hitting pause on campaigns running across YouTube and AdWords. But with the impossibility of asking every single internet user whether they found an ad offensive or unsuitable, the safety of brands will always be open to risk. Richard Purvis (Crunch Simply Digital) noted that the best way to tackle this is a collaboration of man and machine, combining human intuition with the scale and capability of tech.

How to win the battle for attention: be where your audience is

Richard Evans (Sky News) stressed the importance of not only being across all platforms, but understanding which platforms house which segments of your audience. From there, you can then tailor your content to match them. For example, someone scrolling through their Facebook timeline has a very limited amount of time for their attention to be grabbed, so making the first 3 seconds of a video stand out is paramount. Knowing where your audience spends their time is key to future-proofing your brand.

The most successful tech is the most natural

Tech such as chatbots are still approached with hesitation by brands. Those that are most successful, such as the Domino’s Chatbot on Facebook Messenger, have worked because they take into account where they are appearing. Tom Ollerton (We Are Social) highlighted that if a bot is going to be sitting alongside where you talk to your family and friends, it needs to interact in a casual, fun way to match the tone of its surroundings.


Whether it’s using data to adapt how we currently communicate with our customers, or investing in future tech to develop new ways of engaging, there’s certainly plenty to consider when planning ahead. As always, we’re committed to developing the relationship between our clients and their audiences, and thanks to #OiConf, we’ve got more ideas than ever on how to do that best!